If most of your best memories are of summer fun, it’s only natural to want to recreate those good times for your own children. The Fourth of July is a great opportunity for family togetherness, but it’s all one of the holidays most likely to land you in the emergency room. It’s the third-most dangerous holiday to be on the road
, and with everything from fireworks to food poisoning in the mix, there’s a lot to watch out for.
So how can you make sure Independence Day is both safe and fun? Try these tips to get a handle on the summer’s biggest event:
1. Celebrate at Home
The Fourth is always one of the top days for car accidents, and the easiest way to avoid one is to stay off the road. Host a barbecue with lawn games and a sprinkler for the kids to play in, and you’re all set.
2. Curb Your Enthusiasm (for Alcohol)
If you do want to venture out for the day, keep in mind that you’ll have to drive home later. Go ahead an enjoy a beer in the afternoon if that’s your thing, but remember that buzzed driving is drunk driving
, and your kids are your most precious cargo.
Pro Tip: Try this calculator
to get a sense of how long to wait after your last drink to get behind the wheel.
3. Leave Fireworks to the Pros
Accidents related to fireworks led to almost 13,000 trips to the emergency room in 2017. Even if they’re legal in your neck of the woods, skip the backyard fireworks. If you really, really want to share this with your kids, try sparklers instead—but only with kids old enough to hold them tightly.
4. Hold the Mayo
Picnics are the best, but it can be hard to keep dishes in good condition when they sit out in the hot sun. Keep your snacks in the shade, and refrigerate creamy items until serving time. Homemade mayonnaise and salad dressings made with raw eggs should be avoided since they can cause food poisoning.
5. Watch Out for Choking Hazards
Finger foods make great snacks, but if you’re hosting toddlers, it’s a good idea to sweep the area of the most common choking hazards
. Whole grapes, hot dogs, chunks of cheese, and baby carrots can all get lodged in the throat. Keep these items out of reach of your youngest picnickers.
6. Practice Water Safety
If you have a pool, make a plan for having an adult serve as a life guard, perhaps in shifts to make sure there’s always a set of eyes on the kids in the water. Drowning is silent
, so don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. Someone needs to be watching at all times.
7. Have fun!
Enjoy spending time with your family. Summer is a special time with kids and you are creating memories. Slow down, relax and enjoy!
About the author, James
Thank you for joining me for the Positively Dad journey! My name is James Shaw and I'm a husband and father. I live in the Tampa Bay area with my wife, Terri and our young daughter, Naomi. The goal with Positively Dad for us to think, learn and grow. It's easy to get caught up in the day to day and miss opportunities to become amazing fathers. I trust that the conversations we have on Positively Dad will help you see that fatherhood is truly a journey and that we are better together than figuring it all out on our own.
I’m happy to share these excellent reminders!